Alumniae News and Notes

Do you have a personal or ministry update? Have you written a book, celebrated an anniversary, received an award or celebrated a new appointment? Complete the submission form on this page to share your news with former classmates through the web and in the alumni/ae section of the Seminary’s Annual Report.*

*United reserves the right to edit submissions for length and clarity.




Class of 1952

Eldon and Virginia Snyder, Buffalo, NY, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Aug. 31, 2017.


Class of 1953

Robert (Bing) Crosby, Seattle, WA, received a Distinguished Alumni award from Boston University School of Theology. The International Organization Development Network also recognized him with a Lifetime Achievement award.


Paul W. Kauffman, Marysville, PA, recently celebrated 70 years in ministry.


Class of 1959

Ivan G. Kurtz, Penney Farms, FL, was elected head of the chaplain program at Penney Retirement Community.


Class of 1963

Bernard Lieving Jr., Tampa, FL, retired after 57 years of ministry.


Class of 1968

Richard G. Felty, Carlisle, PA, celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife Joy on June 17, 2017. He currently serves as President of the Board of Trustees of the Susquehanna Conference.


Class of 1970

Ronald L. Hines, Claremont, CA, retired after serving congregations in the Pacific Northwest Conference and the Philippines and teaching at Union Theological Seminary near Manila.


David Clarence Hogg, Columbus, OH, celebrated his 50th Wedding Anniversary with his wife Paulette on April 29, 2017. He also celebrated his 50th class reunion at Otterbein University on Sept.15, 2017.


Class of 1971

Gary A. Batey, St. Petersburg, FL, celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife on Aug. 20, 2016.


Galen Black ’71, ’90, Wayne, PA, welcomed his first great-grandchild on March 21, 2017. He is currently involved in Wayne United Methodist Church.


David Thomas, Estes Park, CO, retired from Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2012. He now teaches Spanish and English in Estes Park, CO, and volunteers at Crossroads Ministry.


Class of 1976

Jack Hartman, West Lafayette, IN, currently works part-time on the Indiana Conference Church Development Staff, focusing on church revitalization.


Class of 1978

Marilyn J. Gebert, Columbia City, IN, currently serves Cromwell United Methodist Church. She works in jail ministry and reaches many women who are drug addicts.


Class of 1986

Todd R. Goddard, Ontario, NY, presented to the 2017 Summer Institute on Theology and Disability this past June in Los Angeles, CA. The presentation, called “The Beloved Community,” was a narrative of congregational transformation and inclusion.


Class of 1987

Daniel Houghton, Eagle Point, OR, celebrated 50 years of marriage with his wife Fay on Nov. 5, 2017. He served Upper Rogue United Methodist Church until May 2017 and is now retired.


Class of 1990

John T. Schlicher, Beavercreek, OH, was caught in the midst of the mass shooting at the Fort Lauderdale Airport on Jan. 1, 2017, with his wife Michelle and mother-in-law Jane. Miraculously, the three of them survived with only minor injuries. John has been able to minister to others who survived gunshot wounds and lost loved ones.


Class of 1992

Edward McNulty, Bellbrook, OH, accepted a part-time pastorate at the Blue Ball Presbyterian Church in July 2017.


Class of 1995

Robert Walker, Dayton, OH, was elected President for the Dayton School Board in 2017.


Class of 1997

Ervin D. Seamster Jr., Terrell, TX, was named President of Southwestern Christian College in January 2017.


Class of 2003

Norman A. Tate, Reston, VA, will be retiring soon.


Class of 2005

Charles C. Eagle, Brookville, OH, began serving Community United Methodist Church, Brookville, OH on June 25, 2017.


Class of 2007

David I. Fox, Dayton, OH, was appointed by the County Commission to the Justice Committee for the Montgomery County Jail and by the City Commission to the Citizens’ Appeal Board.


Class of 2008

Mick Dawes, Loysburg, PA, celebrated the births of two new grandsons: Sylvan, born Oct. 31, 2016, and Jeremy, born March 22, 2017.


Bonnie J. Miller, White Plains, NY, celebrated her 25th anniversary as pastor at Chatterton Hill Church.


Class of 2010

Oscar L. Varnadoe III, Chicago, IL, received the Arise Chicago Prophetic Justice Award. He is currently Senior Pastor at Wide Awake United Church of Christ in Benton Harbor, MI.


Class of 2012

Hugh Kerry Wesley, Vallejo, CA, was appointed pastor of Saint James African Methodist Episcopal Church in San Jose, CA, on Sept. 29, 2017.


Class of 2013

Jennifer L. Goggins, Paducah, KY, recently took a new call and is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Paducah, KY.


Penny Stacy, Cincinnati, OH, became a board certified chaplain in July 2017 and the Vice President of Chaplains Association of Ohio. She was also chosen by Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide as a Woman in Excellence for 2017.


Class of 2014

Mona Davies, Murrieta, CA, and her husband were presented with an award for their invaluable service to Riverside County youth by the County of Riverside Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Commission.


Janet Norden, Albuquerque, NM, was ordained on June 2, 2017, as Elder in The United Methodist Church. She was also reappointed to University Heights UMC in Albquerque, NM.


William N. Ramsdale, McLean, IL, is serving a three-point charge in the Sangamon River District in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.


Class of 2015

Timothy Jackson, Collierville, TN, started a new ministry called Hope Fellowship Church in Memphis, TN.


Class of 2017

Devin E. West, Jeffersonville, IN, celebrated five years of Pastor and People with the First Trinity Baptist Church in Jeffersonville, IN, on Nov. 12, 2017.



Our Prayers are with the families of:


Sue Angerman ’81, who died Jan. 30, 2017. She was a resident of Ann Arbor, MI.

Bryce Armstrong ’55, who died Jan. 13, 2017. He was a resident of Austin, TX.

Robert Barnard ’70, who died Aug. 7, 2017. He was a resident of Liberty, IN.

Robert Barnes ’59, who died Nov. 12, 2016. He was a resident of Kingfield, ME.

Doris Batdorf, who died Jan. 23, 2017. She was the wife of alumnus Irvin Batdorf and a resident of Palmyra, PA.

Kathleen Boston, Admissions Associate for United, who died June 25, 2017. She was a resident of New Lebanon, OH.

Grace Clay ’03, who died Oct. 15, 2017. She was a resident of Farmington Hills, MI.

Edgar Conrad ’68, who died April 15, 2017. He was a resident of Corinda, QLD.

James Corbett ’66, who died April 7, 2017. He was a resident of Mount Gretna, PA.

Michael Donnally ’90, who died Aug. 17, 2017. He was a resident of Columbus, OH.

Clinton Dorsey ’70, who died Aug. 26, 2017. He was a resident of Troy, OH.

Gerald Dotson ’74, who died Feb. 21, 2017. He was a resident of Summersville, WV.

Sharon Fyte ’97, who died June 29, 2017. She was a resident of Poplar Bluff, MO.

Arthur Geyh ’76, who died Dec. 24, 2016. He was a resident of Tiffin, OH.

Elizabeth Glick-Rieman ’74, who died May 13, 2017. She was a resident of Richmond, CA.

Kenneth Hatt, friend of United, who died Aug 24, 2017. He was a resident of Hershey, PA.

Jack Hemskey ’59, who died Dec. 11, 2016. He was a resident of Fishersville, VA.

Howard Hershberger ’59, who died Jan. 14, 2017. He was a resident of Saint Marys, OH.

Robert Holbrook ’50, who died Jan. 14, 2017. He was a resident of Fremont, NE.

Earl Jefferson ’96, who died June 10, 2017. He was a resident of Philadelphia, PA.

Joan Kahn-Schneider ’81, who died June 18, 2017. He was a resident of Cincinnati, OH.

John Knecht ’45, who died Aug. 9, 2017. He was a resident of North Manchester, IN.

Harold Landwehr ’76, who died Dec. 27, 2016. He was a resident of Marion, IL.

Felton Edwin, friend of United, who died Feb. 27, 2017. He was a resident of New York, NY.

  1. Robert Myers ’56, who died March 23, 2017. He was a resident of Southwest Harbor, ME.

Susan Ellen Nowicki ’83, who died Jan. 9, 2017. She was a resident of Buffalo, NY.

Kathy O’Donnell ’07, who died March 18, 2017. She was a resident of Piqua, OH.

Marvin Polson ’54, who died June 25, 2017. He was a resident of Perkins, OK.

William Quick, friend of United, who died Sept. 19, 2017. He was a resident of Durham, NC.

Donald Ramsey ’82, who died Jan. 29, 2017. He was a resident of Montpelier, OH.

Donald Ricard ’65, who died April 17, 2017. He was a resident of Saint Marys, OH.

Cleo Schmenk ’83, who died June 15, 2017. He was a resident of Melbourne, FL.

Eileen J Schmid, who died Sept. 11, 2016. She was the wife of William L. Schmid ’65 and a resident of York, PA.

Karen Shepler ’83, who died March 10, 2017. She was a resident of Waterville, OH.

Richard Shields ’68, who died Nov. 3, 2016. He was a resident of Hollidaysburg, PA.

Marjorie Smith, friend of United, who died April 14, 2017. She was a resident of Springboro, OH.

Roy Wigal ’60, who died June 6, 2017. He was a resident of Lebanon, OH.




Dr. Emma J. Justes

Aug. 31, 1941–Jan. 31, 2017

Dr. Emma J. Justes died on Jan. 31, 2017. She had served as Distinguished Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling in the Emma Toussant Chair in Pastoral Theology at United since 2007. Dr. Justes was a popular teacher, beloved and respected by students and colleagues.

She led by example, from becoming the first woman ordained in the American Baptist Church USA and the first female PhD candidate in pastoral theology at Princeton Theological Seminary to playing a key role in the founding of the clinical pastoral education movement. She was the author of Please Don’t Tell: What to Do with the Secrets People Share (Abingdon 2013) and Hearing Beyond the Words: How to Become a Listening Pastor (Abingdon 2006).

Dr. Justes loved to travel, especially in South Africa, where she had the opportunity to teach. Her most treasured role was being mother to her two sons, Kito and James (Micah).


Rev. Dr. Newell Wert

Oct. 10, 1926– May 25, 2017

Rev. Dr. Newell Wert passed away on May 25, 2017. Rev. Dr. Wert was United’s longest-serving academic dean. At the time of his retirement in 1992, he had been in service to the Church for more than 30 years through his work at United, with 29 of those years as Dean of the Faculty. His commitment to United went back to his time as a student of Evangelical School of Theology, a precursor of United Theological Seminary. He graduated in 1950 with a Master of Divinity and was honored as United’s 1992 Distinguished Alumnus.

Rev. Dr. Wert was preceded in death by his wife Donna, former Administrative Assistant to the Dean and Registrar for the Seminary, and his son Newell J. Wert Jr. He is survived by his daughter Susan Wert (James Mossman), step-children Kevin (Jill) Hitt, Michael (Jennifer) Olin-Hitt and Lisa (Don) Hartman and grandchildren.


Rev. Dr. John R. Knecht

Oct. 30, 1920–Aug. 9, 2017

Rev. Dr. John R. Knecht, President Emeritus of United Theological Seminary, passed away on Aug. 9, 2017. Dr. Knecht served as President of United from 1965 to 1985, overseeing the development of the Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program and the establishment of the Center for Evangelical United Brethren Heritage, among other ground-breaking initiatives in theological education.

Prior to his tenure at United, Dr. Knecht served as a pastor in Indiana and as Executive Secretary of the Board of Evangelism of the Evangelical United Brethren Church. He held a Master of Arts from Yale University and a Master of Divinity from Bonebrake Theological Seminary, a precursor to United Theological Seminary.

Dr. Knecht is survived by wife Marjorie and their children Catherine, Mark, Luke and Matthew. United will share service arrangements when they become available.

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